Distance: 7.3 mi.
Elevation Gain: 4025 ft.
We decided it was time to dust off our hiking gear and do a spring hike on (partially) dry ground, so we drove to the Kachess Ridge TH to climb Mount Baldy. We turned left (north) at the first trail crossing and turned right (southeast) at the second trail crossing. We didn’t hit snow until around 3,200 feet, but on the high ridge to Baldy there was consistent hard snow. We did have ice axes but they weren’t necessary. Even though some of the snow in the trees on the ridge was pretty hard and slippery, it would have been low consequence if we fell. We continued southeast on the ridge toward the summit, mostly on snow but with a few rock outcroppings interspersed. The summit itself was dry. We had nice views of Cle Elum Lake and Mount Rainier from the summit and cheers ourselves for doing our first hike of the year! We followed our own tracks to quickly find our way out.
(Download the free Gaia GPS app on your phone to view tracks and then get a Gaia GPS membership if you want offline access. Discount below!)
- Aluminum ice axe – brought but not used
- Glacier glasses
- Mountaineering boots – hiking boots would have been fine